Have Your Say on ‘Do we ‘really’ live in a democracy?’ on Friday 27 May

A guest post by Mark Krantz

29 April & Fri 27 May 2016, Have Your Say! @ People's History Museum
The battle to win the vote for all took over almost one hundred years. Today we have universal suffrage, election of representatives by ballot, and a referendum to decide on membership of the EU.

However, the question of how democratic is Britain is up for discussion.

Where as once there was the demand for ‘no taxation without representation’, today the Panama papers reveal that for the corporations and for some of the richest people in society, taxation is for other people to pay.

The Hillsborough inquest revealed that for years sections of the police conspired to avoid being accountable for their actions. Are they beyond democratic control and accountability?

Decision making over health has been devolved to an appointed interim mayor for Greater Manchester, despite an election that rejected an elected mayor for Manchester.

Opponents of this development believe that ‘Devo Manc’ is ‘undemocratic.’ There will though be an election next year for the post of Greater Manchester Mayor.

Come to the Have Your Say event at the People’s History Museum on Friday 27 May and discuss: Do we ‘really’ live in a democracy?

These monthly discussions will take on the last Friday of the month 1.00pm – 3.00pm, future dates are 24 June and 29 July 2016.  Have Your Say on June 24, will focus on ‘What next after the EU referendum results have been announced?’



Have Your Say on the EU Referendum

Leaflets_Yes and No_last_European_referendum+PHMarchiveWhether you are for staying, for leaving, or are have yet to decide – come to this Have Your Say! event at the People’s History Museum on Friday 29th April, 1.00 – 3.00pm.

There will be an informative and balanced discussion, suitable for the outspoken as well as those who are keen to listen. This is the first of a series of monthly discussions on political talking points at the People’s History Museum. Mark Krantz will help establish what are the facts and what are opinions.

We will examine relevant artefacts from the PHM archives. A full discussion will follow on the EU referendum.

More details of the event as well how to book online are on the PHM website

You can book directly via Eventbrite

These monthly discussions will take on the last Friday of the month 1.00 -3.00pm, Upcoming dates are:  27 May, 24 June and 29 July 2016

Snapshot on the Future City

3 November 2014, Snapshot on the Future City @ People's History Museum

Did you know the museum holds an archive of over 95,000 photographs?  Go behind the scenes and delve into our unique photo collections, the Labour Party photograph collection and the Communist Party of Great Britain photograph collection.

In this lunchtime drop in session, browse through photographs on the theme of the Future City and uncover history through the lens.

This session will look at the Future City, drawing on the unique archive collection of photographs and pamphlets.  Join us on Monday 3 November between 12.30pm – 1.30pm.

Suitable for adults and young people

  • Treat yourself to 15% off in The Left Bank cafe bar when you attend an event at the People’s History Museum
  • Did you know the museum holds the archives of the Labour Party and much more?  Check out the Archive & Study Centre pages for more information or to make an appointment

Booking Requirements: Booking advised via Eventbrite

  • Please note event attendees must arrive at least ten minutes before the start time of the event, otherwise their booked space will be given to someone on the reserve list
  • Please contact the museum as soon as possible if you wish to cancel your reservation so your place can be given to another visitor

FC United: Exhibiting a community

Whilst our new Play Your Part pop up exhibition is all about FC United, it’s about more than just a football club.  I’ve been working with the club for a couple of months to develop the exhibition and I’ve been bowled over by their enthusiasm and commitment to the community of the club; both the community of fans and co-owners who make up the club, and their engagement with the wider community.  Surprisingly, in most of our meetings football itself was barely mentioned!  It was more about how they could highlight projects such as their annual Big Coat Day, which collects coats for the homeless.

The club did a call out to the fans to bring in their photos and memorabilia, and on Sunday 12 January we brought it all together to decide what to display.  12 January 2014, FC United display workshop @ People's History Museum (6)Harriet had dug out some of our football collections, so we rummaged through some of the photographs and programmes before Vinny Thompson and Peter Gleave brought out their fantastic memorabilia collections.  12 January 2014, FC United display workshop @ People's History Museum (19)Unfortunately we didn’t have room to display everything, but we did select some great items including the obligatory football boots and the more unusual bottle of beer.  There’s also some stunning photographs from photographers Matt Wilkinson, Mick Dean, Mark Lee, Richard Searle and Alastair Adams.

FC United exhibition @ People's History Museum (2)You can see more photos of the workshop and exhibition on our Flickr page.

The exhibition will be on display until Sunday 23 February.

Come to our Radicalism, football and co-operatives: FC United City Centre Trail on Sunday 26 January.


Buildings with a Social Memory – PHM represented at international conference in Belgium

A guest post from our globetrotting Director, Katy Archer

Buildings with a Social Memory 1I’ve just got back from a Conference in Ghent, Belgium exploring the social memory of buildings across Europe as part of a Belgian project being run by the University of Ghent, the Public History Institute, Amsab-Institute of Social History and the Arts Centre Vooruit.

I was one of 6 international speakers representing organisations from France, Sweden, Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands… and the UK of course!

The workshop took place at the Vooruit Arts Centre which is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year. The Socialist movement built the ‘Feestlokaal’ or Party Room of Vooruit in 1913, the same year that the world exhibition was organised in Ghent. It had to be an “opera for the working people”, offering blue-collar workers a café, a restaurant, entertainment and education. And it’s a fantastic building and organisation to visit today.

The range of speakers was great and provided a number of perspectives and examples of how historic buildings (and especially those associated with working people) have been repurposed and reinterpreted today.Buildings with a Social Memory 2

Talking about PHM’s connections to two important buildings – The Mechanics Institute and home of the TUC, and the Pumphouse as a working Engine House – went very well. There was lots of interest in the museum and it was great to share our history and journey with an international audience.

I then took part in a Q&A session with Louise Karlskov Skyggebjerg from the Arbejdermuseet in Copenhagen (a fellow member of Worklab) and there were some really interesting and challenging points from the audience:

  • How can museums be truly neutral spaces when they receive government funding?
  • How can we use derelict / empty historic buildings in our cities in creative ways?
  • How do you navigate the grey area of being a contemporary space where current campaigns and conflicts could have a home, with being a professional museum?

I found the discussion really invigorating and inspiring – it was great to have conversations about the role and purpose of museums – especially when we’re dealing with different points of view, political collections and conflict in history. Lots of ideas and thoughts to feed back into our work at the museum – especially as part of our current Play Your Part project which is all about the museum’s response to contemporary events and ideas – which are often challenging to represent and interpret.

Buildings with a Social Memory 3I also really enjoyed my first trip to Belgium and was very impressed by Ghent – it was a beautiful city and I’ll definitely be going back again when I’ve got more time to explore…